Researchers have argued over the past decades on whether the term “new’ must imply unique. Others have argued that a product or service should only be defined as new in the face of a creator while others suggest that the society must be part in determining or defining what makes a product of service unique for it to be termed new. Such arguments have raised concerns regarding the actual definition of creativity. According to Batey and Furman (2006), creativity is a multifaceted construction significant in defining the best solution options to human daily problems and is crucial for improvements in art, science and technology. According to Karawowski (2016), proper definition of creative self-concept encompasses personal outlook of creativity, a concept which includes self-efficacy and self-asses creativity aptitude. In evaluating an individual’s creative behavior, there exist a crucial difference between divergent and convergent creativity. Divergent creativity is attributed to cause invention varied and unexpected solution to questions that look identical. On the other hand, convergent thinking is attributed to cause one creating single accurate response to identical set of problems.
Karwaoski & Lebuda (2016), assert in their study that variation in creativity among individuals is attributable to personality differences. According the trait theories, fluctuation in trait dimensions interrelate to define and individual’s personality. However, psychologists point out that personality differences in the Big Five traits can be reduced to key traits of Plasticity and Stability. According to these assumptions, individuals with high Plasticity tend to have a combination of openness to experiences and well as Extraversion. One key characteristic of people with high Plasticity is their desire to explore novels and can adapt behavior and thoughts. On the contrary to Plasticity, Stability trait involves what is an exact opposite of Neuroticism and it configures Conscientiousness, Agreeableness and Emotional Stability. Individuals with high levels of Stability will always show conformity as a way of avoiding disturbance. They only show nonconformity in feasible occasions (Silvia et al., 2009).
Many research studies on personality and creativity tend to apply Goldberg’s Big Five, however, their findings are importantly applicable in understanding the Huge Two personality traits. Previous literature suggest significant relationship between self-concept and Openness to life experiences. Based on this assumption, it is always evident that people with high levels of Openness do show higher imagination abilities and will always want to take part in new inventions to gain new experience (Batey & Hughes, 2017). Elsewhere, Karwowski & Ledua (2016), in their research assert that there significantly positive correlation between Extraversion and creative self-concept; an attribute linked to the divisive characteristic of extraverts that make them want to engage with alternative new concepts. Since Plasticity is a combination of both Openness and Extraversion, it is right to presume that there is a positive correlation between Plasticity and creative self-concept. In their study, Karwowski and Leduba (2016) point out that Stability which is a combination of Neuroticism, Conscientiousness and Agreeableness are significantly negatively correlated with creative self-concept. Conscientiousness as a trait component of Stability provides individuals with the ability to show low self-rated creativity making them depict low levels of self-creative concepts. It is usual for an individual to have high self-rating in terms of creativeness as this can be attributed to the concept of self-efficacy. According to Eysnck (1993), Neuroticism can always be classified as a component that propel creativity. However, it is often associated with underestimation of people’s ability hence linking it to low self-esteem; a component which is a result of low levels of creative self-concept. It is important to note that negative correlation discovered between Neuroticism and creative self-concept and positive correlation observed between Emotional stability and creative self-concept. One of the most under understood trait of Stability is the Agreeableness trait which has proved in several studies to have no association with creative self-concept. According the studies by Silvia et al., (2009), significant association have been discovered between creative self-concept and Stability trait, however differences exist between the diverse areas of creativity.
Based on the previous research studies, both qualitative and quantitative, Batey and Hughes (2009) point out that limited research have been developed to investigate associations between creativity and personality. According to their study, Plasticity, Extraversion and Openness to experience are all significant predictors of creativity. However, Openness to experience proved to the most significant predictor in the model with regards to divergent thinking as a concept of creative self-concept.
The objective of this research is to explore association between the Huge Two meta-traits and creativity. Further, the study aims to explore whether self-concept does have any significant influence on the creative performance. The two hypotheses tested are; (i) there is a positive correlation between creative self-concept and Stability and Plasticity, and (ii) there is a significant positive correlation between Plasticity and performance on divergent creative activities and negative correlation between Stability and performance on divergent creative activities.
The sample study group included third-year psychology students at the Swinburne University. The study included a sample group of fifty seven participants (female=40, male=17) with their age ranging from 19 years through to 48 years (M=24.35, SD=6.75).
To examine the research objective which aimed at assessing relationship between the Huge Two meta-traits and creativity, creativity was included in the model as the dependent variable. Creativity was operationalized in terms of convergent, divergent creative performance and the creative self-concept. The study was applied in examining the influence of convergent and divergent creative performance on creativity. Also, the study explored the influence independent factors; Stability and Plasticity traits have on creativity.
Materials and Measures
In measuring the personality meta-traits of Plasticity and Stability, an online questionnaire was employed and measured using the IPIP-NEO 120 (Maple, Guan, Carter & Miller, 2014). The method is a validated measure of the Big Five personality traits. On a five-point Likert scale (1=very inaccurate to 5=very accurate), respondents were requested to rate how the 120 phrases in the measurement scale accurately reflect on their personalities. Rating scores on Openness to experience and Extraversion were then summed up to get the overall Plasticity score. Similarly, scores on Agreeableness, Neuroticism and Conscientiousness were summed to obtain the Stability trait score.
Creative self-concept was measured using the 11-item Short Scale of Creative Self (Karwowski, Lebuda, & Wisniewska, 2018). Respondents were expected to rate how accurately the 11-item statements reflected on their self-concept. The scale included 5-point score with 1=very inaccurate to 5=very accurate. The scores were then averaged and high scores implied high level of self-concept.